Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A French Flair!

I have been making some cards and other items for sale in a shop in town, but the requirement is that it has to have a French theme!

I forgot to take photos of the first few cards I made but took some of these which I had the outline for in my head while making the first ones which were very different and used a retired SU stamp set Carte Postale. However, before I had the opportunity to put them together I noticed that another SU demonstrator had made some similar and posted them to her blog - Danielle Daws and I must have been on the same mental wave length at the time or found similar inspiration! Oh well, I decided I would still put mine together as I had envisaged them and share them here on my blog - what do you think Danielle a little different to yours, I like how you cut the birdcage out on yours?



The fleur-de-lis emblishment is not a SU product and the bottom card's ribbon is not either, these were given to me by the shop owner to add to the products I make for her. I hope she likes these cards as much as she did the first ones I made and the post-it note holders. I have other items I need to make for her so hopefully I will find the time and energy over Easter to get creative!

Don't forget to stop by my blog tomorrow to check out the new Autumn/Winter Mini Catalogue from Stampin' Up! which will run from 1 April to 31 August 2010.

Exciting news from Stampin' Up!...

Stampin’ Up! has released these three innovative products in the 2010 Autumn-Winter Mini Catalogue, which runs from 1 April to 31 August 2010:

The Sizzix Big Shot – The Big Shot is a sturdy manual die cutting machine used to die cut materials for use on crafts, home d├ęcor projects, and even clothing--it's a big deal! You'll love what the Big Shot machine--a six-time winner of Creating Keepsakes Reader's Choice Award for best die cutting equipment and dies--can do for you. We are also introducing a line of Stampin’ Up! exclusive dies. The Big Shot machine and dies will give you many more choices for your art work!



Clear Mount Stamps – Over the past few years, there has been enormous demand from demonstrators and customers alike for a line of repositionable clear-mount rubber stamps. Well, you asked for it, and now you have it! Stampin’ Up! will now offer our exclusive stamp art in both traditional wood-mount, and the new clear-mount option. Our new clear-mount rubber stamps are the result of extensive research with the intent to maintain the very best image quality in the stamping industry, while at the same time offering the ease-of-use and storability inherent in repositionable clear-mount rubber stamps.



New Punch Body Style – Starting with the Autumn-Winter Mini and continuing with all new punch designs going forward, Stampin’ Up! has adopted a new body style for our punches! With a larger cutting surface and a sleeker body, our new punches give you greater cutting precision, better punching leverage, and space-saving storage.



I hope that you are as excited about these new product lines and the 2010 Autumn-Winter Mini Catalogue as I am! To order your copy of the new Mini catalogue contact me today via email: maecollins3@iprimus.com.au

Please note: some of the items displayed in the above videos may not be coming in this release of new products to the Australian market.

Book your workshop with me to see and experience the new products - 2010 Autumn Winter Mini Catalogue will run from 1 April to 31 August 2010.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Back home!

Well we are back home (although I am still not 100% well and have passed my virus on to my husband - I do love to share!) and so I thought I should post a couple of photos of the weekend that has just passed.

The wedding card that I made:

Stamps: Baroque Motifs, Warm Words, Big on Spring (retired)
Ink:
Elegant Eggplant
Cardstock:
Whisper White, Elegant Eggplant
Accessories:
Elegant Eggplant Grosgrain Ribbon, Hodgepodge Hardware (silver), Crystal Effects, Stampin' Write Markers, Snail Adhesive

Inside the card:

My niece Haylee (the bride to be) and I (although my face is flushed from the virus and not the red wine!) the night before the wedding:
My family:
L-R (back row): Jannette, Dick, me, Wayne and Anny-Mary
(front row): Dad and Mum (Martin and Emily Huisman)

The happy couple:

And I shouldn't forget to include a photo of my husband and I:


Apart from not being well the weekend was a success and the wedding was lovely as expected.

Now I need to find some time this week to: craft for myself, make some items requested for a shop in town, complete a challenge or two, prepare for a job interview (10hr week admin position), tax homework and reading, finish some household chores and some other things that have slipped my mind at present - must put together a "To Do List" with timeframes etc. to keep me on track!

Don't forget that Stampin' Up!'s Sale-A-Bration promotion finishes this Wednesday, 31 March 2010 so if you want to earn any of those FREE stamp sets send me an email.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Not well and going AWOL

Hi all

Thought I would just let you know that I won't be blogging here for several days as I have been unwell the last few days and have no energy to do anything (including relaxing craft things!) - even typing this is a bit of an effort, but I just wanted to let you know I will be back. Also, my husband and I will be travelling to the North West of Tasmania to attend my niece's wedding and as he is on holidays we are going to take a couple of extra days for ourselves.

Therefore, I won't have the opportunity to put anything new or interesting on my blog during this time. I will however, try to remember to take a photo of the card for my niece's wedding and upload it here after we return - she is a follower of my blog so it would spoil the surprise if I posted it early!

She has already seen the book I decorated for her but I thought that was ok as she requested it and knew I was going to try and incorporate her wedding colour/design etc in my efforts.

Anyway, I am tired now and need to go rest again!

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to pop back next week sometime!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tassie Inkydinks Cyber Stamp

My group the Tassie Inkydinks are quite widespread geographically and so it was suggested that to enable us to get together and share ideas, techniques and to participate in some group challenges we should create an online network via Ning and meet up that way.

Well some of us did last night and it was a great way to connect together (thanks for joining in Claire, Nicki, Bridgette and Carolyn ~ wave ~). We had some general chatting and then participated in a couple of challenges. Claire set the first challenge 'to use some circles on a card, scrapbook layout etc' and this is what I made...

Stamps: Fox & Friends (to be released in upcoming Autumn/Winter Mini Catalogue) and Whimsical Words
Cardstock: Kraft and Very Vanilla, small circle of Close to Cocoa to highlight the greeting
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Basic Gray, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Chip, Bordering Blue
Accessories: 1 3/4" Circle Punch, 1 3/8" Circle Punch, paper piercer and mat pack, stampin' dimensionals and snail adhesive

So Claire was able to participate in a challenge, she had already made her sample for the first challenge, and get 'inky fingers' (like Nicki's baby girl Tessa who put her fingers on the Pink Passion ink pad - such a bright girly colour to have on her fingers!) I set a challenge to create 'a baby card in both a girl and boy colour way, same design'. This was my take on my own challenge...



Stamps: A New Little Someone (now retired, thanks for the loan of this set Raewyn as you can see I have used it!)
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Pink Passion (baby girl card) and Brilliant Blue (baby boy card), Watercolour Paper
Ink: Pink Passion, Pretty in Pink and Brilliant Blue, Bashful Blue
Accessories: SU Watercolor Pencils, Aqua Painter, Snail Adhesive


This was such a successful forum and a great way for us to connect together that I am sure we will be doing it again next month and hopefully a few others can join in as well. As I get permission to I will share the results of the challenges of other team members on our Tassie Inkydinks blog.

Thanks for stopping by and now I need to clean my craft desk so I can create some more as the weather is forcing me inside - beautiful rain going in to our tanks - and the house is tidy, so my craft desk is calling me! Bye for now!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A memory of love...

My niece Haylee is getting married on 27 March 2010 and she asked me to decorate a book for her to use for guests to write sentiments in and to include photos of their guests in (at least I think that is what she said she wanted the book for - am I right Haylee, she being a follower of my blog!). Well I finally got around to finishing the task, nothing like leaving it to the last minute or at least last weeks!

Here it is...

The photographer is not very good with her camera, she needs lessons I think - me that is! I took these photos outside and yet the colours still don't seem to be a true reflection of what they should be.

Here is a close-up of my ribbon tying to hold it all together, as it is a Kaiser Craft board book that I covered with Designer Series Paper (Cottage Wall - available in the soon to be released Autumn/Winter Mini Catalogue) and some cardstock. The decorative borders are not done with SU cardstock but another brand as it was a closer match to the actual purple colour of her wedding invitation, however, I was not completely satisfied with this cardstock. I so much prefer SU cardstock which has the colour right the way through the cardstock so if you get marks on it, want to tear it or try to rub off spots of adhesive and rub a bit off the cardstock, it still shows the same colour through. With this dark purple cardstock I used to edge the covers with, when marked it showed the white of the middle of the cardstock. Sorry Haylee but to remove it would have wrecked the whole cover and so I only used it to border the edges and used SU Lovely Lilac cardstock for the page inserts (thanks Nicki Batchelor for getting me out of situation of not having enough of the right colour cardstock!).


I used the same ribbon (white with Love sentiment) that was used on the wedding invitation and thanks to Haylee's mum for giving me the diamonte embelishment, which I think is also found on her wedding dress or another element of her wedding. It set the cover off so nicely!


The inside pages are Lovely Lilac and the outside corners where rounded with my Corner Rounder Punch and then in the bottom outside edge I stamped the flourish from SU Yummy stamp set (now retired).


The first inside page I enhanced with a verse that I thought was appropriate and I found in my craft supplies. It reads: Our Wedding - The day of our wedding will live forever in our hearts as an endless memory of love. Time stood still upon the doorstep of our dreams as we promised our lives to each other and stepped into the future as one. The day of our wedding will live forever in our hearts as a joyful dance of family and friends, laughter and song - a perfect memory of love. (by Kimberly Rinehart)

I hope Haylee and Michael like what I made and that it adds to their memories of their special day! Gary and I are looking forward to sharing in their special day.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A challenge to myself...

I often participate in the Just Add Ink Challenges and the latest one is simply to "Just Add Easter!" and I have noticed that most are doing an easter egg/basket/rabbit theme and I thought I would challenge myself to step away from the commercial and try to reflect the true meaning of Easter - that Jesus was resurrected from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion, according to the Christian faith.

With this in mind and knowing that I am no artist or brayer expert like Michelle Zindorf (even though I did not end up using a brayer only sponges!) I had an image in my head that I wanted to try to replicate - well I am not to sure that what I created did justice to what I envisaged in my head but here it is...(my daughter thought the sky was good but thought my tomb and rock looked just like two circles sitting on my card, what do you think?)

Oh well, I tried and I have put it up for comment and reflection, being brave to try something different and not to stay in a comfort zone. This one is truly an original from me!

Big Shot and Rich Razzleberry...

I finally managed to play with some of the items I received in my preorder from the upcoming Stampin' Up!® Autumn/Winter Mini Catalogue, mainly the Big Shot! Here are the items I created and as you can see I experimented with not only a few of the items I purchased from Stampin' Up! but some of my pre-existing dies that can be found in my craft collection.


Card
Stamps: Whimsical Words (current SAB promotion)
Cardstock: Rich Razzleberry (new In Color Autumn/Winter Mini), Whisper White, Pink Passion
Ink: Rich Razzleberry
Accessories: Manhattan Flower Impressions Embossing Folder (Stampin' Up! Exclusive Autumn/Winter Mini), Rich Razzleberry 1/2" Polka-Dot Grosgrain Ribbon (Autumn/Winter Mini), Curly Label Punch, sponge dauber, adhesive


I can see that Manhattan Flower on a few of my creations, it would make a great embelishment for wedding invitations, anniversary cards etc.

Pillow Box 1 (on the left)
Cardstock: Rich Razzleberry (new In Color Autumn/Winter Mini), Pale Plum, Orchid Opulence
Accessories: Pillow Box Bigz Die (Autumn/Winter Mini), Rich Razzleberry 1/2" Polka-Dot Grosgrain Ribbon (Autumn/Winter Mini), Cuttlebug Scribble Flower Die, sticky strip

Pillow Box 2 (on the right)
Cardstock: Acetate, Rich Razzleberry (new In Color Autumn/Winter Mini), Pale Plum
Accessories: Pillow Box Bigz Die (Autumn/Winter Mini), Rich Razzleberry 1/2" Polka-Dot Grosgrain Ribbon (Autumn/Winter Mini), Cuttlebug Scribble Flower Die, sticky strip


Inside Pillow Box 2 I have included a sample of Rich Razzleberry 1/2" Polka-Dot Grosgrain Ribbon and a couple of Basic Jumbo Grommets (white) to use as a hostess gift at one of my workshops.

Pillow Box 3 (not photographed well for colour, sorry!)
Cardstock: Riding Hood Red
Accessories: Pillow Box Bigz Die (Autumn/Winter Mini),
Manhattan Flower Impressions Embossing Folder (Stampin' Up! Exclusive Autumn/Winter Mini), Riding Hood Red Tafetta Ribbon, sticky strip

With this Pillow Box I actually embossed my cardstock first before cutting out the pillow box shape and I liked the result. I think these pillow boxes make great gift presentation, although I had hoped it would have been a bit bigger in size, still very useful for gift wrapping trinkets, small candy or to give as a gift to a special hostess or customer with some product samples as I have shown in Pillow Box 2 above.

As I said previously I was also experimenting using the Big Shot with dies/product that I already own (as the Big Shot can be used with a multiple of other brand dies) and so had a play with my Spellbinders Nestabilities (Labels One) which I had not as yet used and created a bag topper for some tags that I will also use as a gift idea at an upcoming workshop.


I am keen to purchase from the soon to be released (1 April 2010) Autumn/Winter Mini Catalogue the Stampin' Up! Exclusive Top Note Bigz Die which can be used in the same way (as well as a few others of course!).

As I love Designer Series Paper I also included in my preorder the new Cottage Wall DSP and that has been used in the background of my photos above. I will soon be using that in some of my creations and look forward to also adding to this the Cottage Garden stamp set and matching Printed Window Sheets which also feature in the new Autumn/Winter Mini.

If you would like to receive a copy of the new Autumn/Winter Mini Catalogue please contact me or better still why not book your own workshop in April to see first-hand what new items Stampin' Up! have on offer and in doing so earn yourself some lovely stamps and products for FREE. Plus, you and your guests will get to make and take something away from the workshop using items from the new Mini Catalogue.

You can now see why I was so excited in my previous post when I received my pre-order. Lots of new things to play with and isn't that a reflection of Stampin' Up!'s Statement of the Heart: "To love what we do and share what we love, as we help others enjoy creativity and worthwhile accomplishments...in this we make a difference!"

Thursday, March 11, 2010

So excited!

I was so excited when I went into the post office this afternoon and our neighbour and post mistress told me that my box had arrived, I have been patiently waiting and asking for it for the last few days! The reason I am so excited is that it held my pre-order from the new Stampin' Up! Autumn/Winter Mini Catalogue that is to be released on 1 April 2010.

I can't wait to play with my new Sizzix Big Shot (why am here blogging then and not playing, LOL, have other things that I just had to do first and I need to clean my craft desk again!) and to use my sample of clear mount stamps and some of the other items that I bought (all at a great demonstrator discount!) - oh well, you will just have to pop back here to my blog in the next few days when I can share with you the lovely things I make.

Why not think of booking your own workshop in April to see these lovely new products for yourself and get to make something for yourself? Email me today - maecollins3@iprimus.com.au to confirm your date in my diary or if it suits you better come to my next stamp class in April and have fun at my place!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Want more Stampin' Up! products?

I saw this somewhere when I was blog surfing and thought what a great and appropriate message:

Want a LITTLE?..... be a customer
Want a LOT?..... be a Hostess
Want EVERYTHING?..... be a demonstrator

This is basically what got me started in Stampin' Up!, I wanted not quite everything but close enough, and so knowing that being a demonstrator would entitle me to a discount I thought I would join and get my craft supplies at a good price.

This month is a good month to join Stampin' Up! because not only do you get a great Starter Kit at a discounted price of $324 (retail value over $560) but you also get to choose a FREE stamp set from the Idea Book & Catalogue (valued up to $79.95) - email me today for more information!

If you live in the south of Tasmania and want to book a workshop before the end of our Sale-A-Bration promotion (31 March 2010) to receive some great hostess gifts and free product then contact me today!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

General chit chat...

My stamp class on Friday night was a lot of fun and I believe the ladies who attended all enjoyed themselves and were pleased with the items they made.

Market at Copping yesterday was ok and thankfully the weather cleared up from the morning's rain and grey clouds! Had 50 of my animal bookmarks requested for selling at the Copping museum which I supplied yesterday, would just like a retail outlet to stock some of my greeting cards!

Today's market at Dodges was great, beautiful weather and there was a real buzz there today, we did well.
A gentleman who said he used to run a retail outlet suggested I should find a retail outlet to sell some of my cards as the quality was very good and people like variety in handmade cards - nice to get some positive feedback and not just from other women who are likeminded and enjoy making papercrafts and know what is involved.

Well I had better get of my computer now as I haven't been home much this weekend and with all the family together today I should be more social.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Stamp Class samples

As I was preparing for my stamp class for this coming Friday I thought I would take photos of my samples and post them here for you to see what we will be doing. I will be demonstrating the Crayon Resist Technique and as usual I always have samples for guests to look at while I am demonstrating the technique. As I will be also holding two market stalls this weekend at Copping (Saturday) and Dodges Ferry (Sunday) and again increasing our supply of Mother's Day cards (yes, getting in early!) that is the theme I stuck with, so after the class they will be put in to our stock.

Here is a group shot of my samples followed by individual images and some close up of elements I used on my cards, I don't think my photos came out so good today :(


Card 1

Card 2

Greeting - edges sponged with Pink Pirouette
Cards 1 & 2
Stamps: Embrace Life
Cardstock: Whisper White (plain and glossy), Old Olive, Pink Pirouette
Inks: Stazon Black, Old Olive, Pink Pirouette
Accessories: Sponges,White Waxy Crayon, ribbon, adhesive

Card 3

Bow & Button - easy technique shown by Danielle Daws
Cards 3
Stamps: Embrace Life
Cardstock: Apricot Appeal, Rose Red, Whisper White
Inks: Stazon Black, Apricot Appeal, Rose Red
Accessories: Sponges,White Waxy Crayon, ribbon, button, twine, paper piercer, adhesive


As a special request by one of my friends and loyal customers (hi Sarah ~wave~) I am not only demonstrating a technique at this class but also showing them how to make a quick and easy Post-It Note Holder - as shown by Dawn Griffiths on her blog (click here). Here are my samples (and yes afterwards they also will go on our market stalls to be sold).


Each person attending the class will get to make their own sample of the Crayon Resist Technique for their techniques book (made at my first class for this year), a complete card using this technique and a Post-It Note Holder complete with post-it note and pen! If you live in the south of Tasmania and want to attend any of my monthly stamp classes details can be found by clicking the link on the top left-hand side of my blog or click here.

I enjoy getting together with friends and customers (and new contacts also!) to demonstrate all the wonderful things that can be done and made using Stampin' Up! products. So if you would like to hold your own workshop to learn some new techniques or just to sample the products on offer email me today!

A stamp workshop is a great way to also earn some lovely free gifts and with our Sale-A-Bration promotion still running till the end of this month, 31 March 2010, you and your guests could also earn additional free stamp sets - click here for more details!

Have a great day and keep smiling :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Outside my comfort zone...

Well tonight (last night actually) I decided to go outside my comfort zone and create a card that is not my usual style (or a colour combination that I would normal choose) for the latest "Just Add Ink" challenge - this time it was a sketch challenge.

Here is the sketch they gave us:


And this is the card I created:


Stamps: Big Deal Alphabet
Inks: Pink Passion
Cardstock: Tempting Turquoise, Pink Passion
Accessories: Kaleidoscope DSP, Tempting Turquoise Stampin' Write Marker, Paper Piercer and Mat Pack, Accents & Elements, Rhinestone brads, snail adhesive and sticky dots

I started with the flower embelishments first as I have been recently inspired by one of the "Just Add Ink's" Design Team member's tutorial on decorating a head band - Sarah Klass - and it made me get out my Accents & Elements and Pretties Kit to see what I could use. I decided to put the three colour combinations and different flower types together from the Accents & Elements kit and then the card colour combination flowed from these.

As I like the Kaleidoscope Designer Series Paper in Stampin' Up!'s latest Summer Mini Catalogue I thought a piece that I had left might just go well with my flowers. So then I decided to use Tempting Turquoise as my card base and with Mother's Day coming up in May I decided to use the Big Deal Alphabet stamp set and stamp the greeting 'Mum' on to Pink Passion cardstock with Pink Passion ink.

Because it was late and I didn't want to get my sewing maching out to stitch the cardstock edges (thought if I woke the family at midnight sewing I might not be appreciated) I decided to add some faux stitching to my edges using the Tempting Turquoise Stampin' Write Marker.

Here is a closer look at my faux stitching and my flower embelishments:

So this is the process that I went through to design and create the card for this latest challenge. How do you start your creative process, what techniques do you use to come up with your final design?

I had intended to do a scrapbook layout for this particular challenge but as usual I made a card. However, if I can lay my hands on the photos I had in mind for my layout and time does not become an issue I will try to do the scrapbook layout as well for this sketch challenge before the deadline.

Anyway it's time to take my mother-in-law (and my husband as he has a day off) out for lunch and some time in the shops! Bye for now and thanks for stopping by and looking, don't forget to leave a comment as I love to hear your responses to what I share here on my blog.

Enjoy your day!

Market stalls

If you have been a regular visitor (and reader of my blog posts) you might have gathered that a good friend of mine, Jody-ann and I have been selling some of our craft wares at local markets. We had originally started off participating in the local monthly market - Dodges Farmers and Artisan's Market, held the first Sunday of each month from November to April. However, from customers at these markets we were asked to participate in the Eaglehawk Neck Market for their hall opening and from that we were asked to participate in a Copping Market as a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Research - Saturday, 6 March.

I was also asked by a lovely lady Helena to make 50 of my animal bookmarks for her to sell at her shop and so that has kept me busy lately. Here is a couple of photos of the bookmarks I have made (approx 80+ - 50 for the shop and 30+ for our two markets next weekend):

Note: the photo below did not have enough animals bookmarks to make a good shot so I included some from the one above, aiming to have atleast one of each of the animals made visible.

Inspiration for many of the bookmarks above came from talented people across the Internet as well as a favourite site of mine - Splitcoast Stampers.

However, my daughter challenged me to come up with an animal of my own design and so below is the 'hippo' that I created myself from scratch. I used Not Quite Navy cardstock and the Wide Oval Punch for his mouth and 1/4" handheld circle punch for his nostrils and pupils. I used the 1/2" Circle Punch for his eyes and ears and then used a Black Stampin' Write Marker to draw on his mouth - what do you think?


Jody-ann and I have given ourselves a name - J&Mpot - being a play on our initials and the idea of a 'pot' where lots of different things can be put in to make something worth sharing. Having a market stall is a great way for me to promote what I do with Stampin' Up! and to have an outlet for all the cards and papercraft items I make for challenges or the fun of it!

So if you are a local to my area and happen to come to a market we are at please come and say hello!

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